LUZ II Ltd.
11 Kiryat Mada St., Amot bldg #6,
P.O. Box 45220, Har Hotzvim,
Jerusalem, 91450 Israel.
BrightSource Energy Inc.
1999 Harrison Street,
Oakland, CA 94612, USA.
Phone: 510-550-8161 x108
LUZ II develops utility-scale solar power plants using a unique, proprietary technology which converts sunlight to electricity. LUZ II’s technology provides relatively low-cost power during peak demand periods. By using standard, inexpensive materials and economies of scale in manufacturing, LUZ II’s plants achieve the lowest cost solar electricity in the world.
LUZ II Ltd.,of Jerusalem, Israel, is a wholly owned subsidiary of BrightSource Energy Inc. (BSE), of Oakland, California. BSE is owned by Mr. Arnold Goldman, VantagePoint Venture Partners, a leading venture capital firm, and private investors (some of whom were investors in the original Luz). LUZ II Ltd. performs R&D, production and project engineering.
BSE has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Pacific Gas & Electric Company to negotiate an agreement for 500 MW of projects on an accelerated basis. The Company is also engaged in project negotiations with potential strategic partners in Spain for an estimated 50 to 150 MW.
BSE/LUZ II’s technology provides relatively low-cost power during peak demand periods. Utilities and large commercial and industrial customers place a premium on the power that is produced during peak demand times. By using standard, inexpensive materials and economies of scale in manufacturing, BSE/LUZ II’s plants achieve the lowest cost solar electricity in the world.
The combination of environmental concerns and rising prices for commodity fuels has caused a number of states in the U.S. to adopt Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). These standards require utilities to purchase as much as 33% of their power from renewable energy sources, such as wind, hydro and solar, by specified dates. For example, California utilities are currently under a mandate to purchase 20% of their power from renewable sources by 2011 (compared to 12% at present), and 33% by 2020. Historically, utilities have depended on wind power to meet their RPS requirements. However, wind is not a predictable source of power and typically delivers its power at night, when electricity demand is lowest. Solar energy has a much higher degree of predictability, with only a 10% yearly production variance. Solar power peaks exactly when electricity demand is greatest, during the afternoon hours and during summer months when air conditioning loads are increased.
BSE/LUZ II’s DPT system can also utilize natural gas to generate electricity during periods of reduced solar availability, such as early evening hours when demand is still high. Using this system, BSE/LUZ II can offer utilities firm capacity commitments for peak and shoulder periods. This dispatch capacity and flexibility provides significant value to utility companies.
LUZ II’s proprietary, hybrid, solar-gas powered generating technology, Distributed Power Towers (DPT), is significantly more cost effective than any other solar thermal technology. LUZ II’s project-ready, Generation One technology, (DPT 550), produces reliable, peak power electricity by using solar energy to create superheated steam.
LUZ II’s DPT technology consists of a number of solar clusters, each of which includes a power tower surrounded 3600 by an array of heliostats. Heliostats are flat, glass mirrors which track the sun and reflect sunlight onto a receiver, which is located on the top of a power tower. Power towers are linked together by pipelines to a central location where electricity is generated and sent to a power grid.
The DPT 550 technology heats water to superheated steam at a temperature of 5500 – 5650 C. A high efficiency steam turbine converts the superheated steam to electricity, which is sent to a power grid. The DPT 550 technology is more than 40% efficient in thermal to electric conversion. Both 100 MW and 200 MW power plants are currently being designed.
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